Manchester United prepared for their FA Cup semifinal in perfect fashion away at Bournemouth, with a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku.

By 90Min
April 18, 2018

Manchester United prepared for their FA Cup semifinal in perfect fashion away at Bournemouth, with a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku. 

The first 10 minutes were mostly played in the midfield, with neither side able to get a foothold in the game, but the first chance would fall to Jordon Ibe, who dragged his shot narrowly wide after being teed up by Callum Wilson.

United started to show signs of life as the half wore on, with Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial combining nicely down the left hand side at times, but chances were still at a premium and United were still lacking the fluidity in attack that they had shown earlier in the season.

The opener came in the 27th minute from an unlikely source for the Red Devils, Chris Smalling. Having found himself in space outside the box, Ander Herrera slid a wonderful pass through for Jesse Lingard which broke the lines and took four Bournemouth defenders out of the equation. Lingard subsequently squared the ball across the box for the unmarked Smalling to finish into an empty net, and make it three consecutive away games in which he's scored.

The goal seemed to be a catalyst for United, who quickly took control of the game. Pogba's influence grew as he found himself controlling the tempo and moving the ball through the phases quickly. United ended the half well on top.

The second half began in much the same vein as the first had ended, with Pogba once again at the center of everything United did going forward, the more of the ball the Frenchman saw the more threatening United looked.

Bournemouth sprang into life in the 55th minute as Callum Wilson spurned a huge opportunity to level things. The ball was flashed across the face of goal and Wilson would've needed just the slightest touch to divert it in but failed to apply said touch. The tide was turning, and Mourinho responded by bringing on Romelu Lukaku for Jesse Lingard on the hour mark.

It would be the substitute Lukaku who would deliver the killer blow in the 70th minute. A smart flick from Martial on the left wing sent Pogba rampaging towards goal, he slid the ball into the path of the Belgian who clipped a finish over the onrushing Asmir Begovic. 

The remainder of the second half went by without much incident, with United seeing the game out in the sort of manner you'd expect from a Mourinho side.

While Bournemouth will feel the scoreline doesn't really represent the way the game went, they simply didn't create enough chances against a United team low in confidence. Paul Pogba was the difference, showing why the club would be mad to even consider selling the dynamic Frenchman.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)